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Strategy Safari by Mintzberg

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T H E FREE PRESS NEW YORK >aJ&aiz. u.frmiu/i «...* „.;i**/ . * . . >*.»*.. . .. *..***.-.**a/itiktSii^i

THE FREE PRESS A Division of Simon & Schuster Inc. 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020

Copyright © 1998 by Henry Mintzberg, Ltd., Bruce Ahlstrand, and Joseph Lampel All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. THE FREE PRESS and colophon are trademarks of Simon & Schuster Inc. Designed by Carla Bolte Manufactured in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4

Permissions acknowledgments appear on pages 393-395. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Mintzberg, Henry. Strategy safari: a guided tour through the wilds of strategic management / Henry Mintzberg, Bruce Ahlstrand, Joseph Lampel. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Strategic planning. I. Ahlstrand, Bruce W. II. Lampel, Joseph. III. Title. HD30.28.M564 1998 658.4'012--dc21 98-9694 CIP ISBN 0-684 -84743-4 (hardcover)

There are some people who begin the Zoo at the beginning, called WAYIN, and walk as quickly as they can past every cage until they come to the one called WAYOUT, but the nicest people go straight to the animal they love the most, and stay there.

--A. A. Milne, in the Introduction to Winnie-The-Pooh

We dedicate this book to such people who are more interested in open fields than closed cages.


Embarkation 1 "And Over Here, Ladies and Gentlemen: The Strategic Management Beast" 2 The Design School Strategy Formation as a Process of Conception 3 The Planning School Strategy Formation as a Formal Process 4 The Positioning School Strategy Formation as an Analytical Process


1 23




The Entrepreneurial School Strategy Formation as a Visionary Process



The Cognitive School Strategy Formation as a Mental Process



The Learning School Strategy Formation as an Emergent Process



The Power School Strategy Formation as a Process of Negotiation



The Cultural School Strategy Formation as a Collective Process



The Environmental School Strategy Formation as a Reactive Process



The Configuration School Strategy Formation as a Process of Transformation


12 "Hang On, Ladies and Gentlemen, You Have Yet to Meet the Whole Beast" References 375 Index 397




his trip began with a paper by Henry called "Strategy Formation: Schools of Thought," published by Jim Fredrickson in a collection entitled Perspectives on Strategic Management (HarperCollins, 1990). Bruce used the paper in a course at Trent University and found that it worked well. "Why don't you do a book on it?" he suggested. "Why don't we do it together?" Henry replied. They both thought that Joe would make an excellent member of the team. So the safari was launched. We did not, however, write this as a textbook or some sort of academic treatise. From the outset, we believed that the book should have as much relevance for managers and consultants in practice as students and professors in the clasroom. So we set out to write an easily accessible explanation of the fascinating field of strategic management. Sure, some parts may appeal more to practitioners, while others may be more of interest to the academically inclined. This is in the nature of the beast. We did not set out to domesticate it but to make it friendly. We wanted readers from everywhere to join our safari. But at the same time we want to challenge you. We take risks and hope that they will invigorate you. For as we argue throughout, the field of strategic management needs to be opened up, not closed down; it needs reconciliation among its many different tendencies, not the isolation of each. To enrich the experience of this safari, we hope to follow up with a Guidebook. We have also prepared an Instructor's Manual to facilitate the use of this rather unconventional book in the classroom. We owe many thank-yous. Bob Wallace of The Free Press must be especially singled out. In the musical chairs world of publishing these



days, to be able to work with someone of his caliber, dedication, and experience is most unusual. Abby Luthin gave welcome support there as well. Kate Maguire provided great help, as she has so often in the past. (Kate labeled the manuscript "The Beast" long before it received its current title!) She was supported admirably by Elana Trager, especially in tracking down some tricky bits of information. Coralie Clement dealt with all the references and permissions, plus lots more, working across countries, authors, and problems with remarkable skill. At one point, she wrote in an e-mail, "I think it's pretty awesome that I am communicating with a Franco-Anglo-Canadian in India about a book being published in the U.S. and Europe Ahhh, modern life." Particularly wise and helpful were comments on the manuscript provided by Joelle Meiic. Thanks also go to the doctoral students of Henry's colloquium in Montreal,



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